Auxiliary wine dinner funds St. Clare medical equipment purchase

April 6, 2017

Proceeds from the St. Clare Hospital Auxiliary’s wine dinner next week could help buy new medical equipment for the Baraboo health center.

Auxiliary co-presidents Darlene Otto and Judy Spencer said the group will decide at the end of the month if its fundraising efforts will purchase a new fetal monitor for the hospital emergency room. Additional funds will support St. Clare’s scholarship program, which provides 15 to 17 scholarships each year to Baraboo and Wisconsin Dells residents who want to enter the medical field.

Set for Wednesday evening at the Al. Ringling Mansion, the night will feature a four-course dinner prepared by chef Anthony Teasdale of Quindt’s Towne Lounge in Baraboo. The meal includes beef brisket tacos, Greek lemon chicken, Mandarin cashew salad, strawberry lemon cake and more. A glass of wine will be paired with each course, as well.

Nearly 80 guests already have registered for the dinner.

Otto said the event serves a dual purpose. It’s intended to generate interest in the Auxiliary and its mission, while raising money for hospital programs and equipment.

“When we started brainstorming for different events, we were thinking of different things to get people interested so they might want to participate, and we decided on the wine dinner,” she said.

“It used to be you asked people to help with all these fundraisers, but they really didn’t know the people involved,” Spencer added. “The dinner is wonderful because it’s kind of a get-together and people can learn what’s going on in the Auxiliary.”

The Auxiliary has held several wine dinners at Quindt’s in the past, but Otto said their increasing popularity led the group to pursue a larger venue at the Al. Ringling Mansion.

“We decided this time to move to a different location so that we can have more people attend,” she said.

The group has spent the past few weeks preparing for the dinner. Spencer said volunteers decorated wine bottles for door prizes, selected the menu, paired wines with courses of food and advertised the event in local media. The Baraboo High School baseball team has agreed to help with setup work.

The Auxiliary has donated almost $1 million to St. Clare since its inception in the 1950s. At just under $850,000 in current donations, Spencer and Otto hope to reach the $1 million mark by the end of the year.

Otto said the wine dinner will be a good opportunity to raise awareness of the Auxiliary’s fundraising efforts.

“I don’t think people realize that a small auxiliary can donate that much money to the St. Clare campuses,” Otto said.